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Not that this argument was the worst, not by a long shot. But the silence following it was deafening in the extreme. The fight came at the worst time, they were both too tired, too worried about money, about getting older, about realizing that the plans they planned at the very beginning said more about youth and faith than it did about any ability to really pull it off. He wants to make the first move, but something’s holding him in place, until she smiles that wry and ancient smile that tells him they’ve come through to the other side once again. Telling her to stay on the couch, he goes into the bathroom, yelling for her about ten minutes later. She follows, because it’s her turn to receive, and his turn to make things right.

He’s lit the fat, white candle he’s kept under the sink in case of emergencies, and placed it on the sink. Long shadows flicker, and the two of them stand face to face, slowly undressing one another. No words are necessary, as their hands trail against exposed flesh. The bathroom door is closed, the tub is full, and steam fills the room–circles them, shrouding their nakedness. The shower has seen its fair share of activity, in practical, daily ablutions–tonight, he wants them to be islands in a faraway sea.

The fight came at the worst time, they were both too tired, too worried about money, about getting older, about realizing that the plans they planned at the very beginning said more about youth and faith than it did about any ability to really pull it off.

They climb in, and thankfully, this old relic has plenty of room. It’s sat unused by both of them for eons, but there are other plans for it now. Italian bath salts scent the water, and the two of them ease into the liquid heat and face each other. Wrapping his arms and legs around her, he captures her, draws her close.

Before and after each time his lips meet hers, he keeps saying her name–he can’t help himself. The sound of her name echoing around them surges through his body and each kiss grows deeper, more urgent. Somewhere in his mind he tells himself that he’s lost, that he doesn’t care. You’re my tether, he thinks. It’s not a conscious thought anymore, it’s knowledge in the body.

She slides toward him, her tongue caressing his, her hand reaching under the water to stroke him somewhere else. He comes alive in her hand, solid and real. She has never known anything so real.

He stops kissing her only to bring his head to her breast, closing his mouth over a nipple. She cries out, and cradling his hand over hers, together they guide him between her folds. Sliding into her–slowly, so slowly–the water makes them buoyant, motion easy, they become a tide rolling in and out.

She’s leaning on him, rocking back and forth, and he takes his hand to swirl his thumb on her clit. Vapor rises from the tub, the water swirls and splashes up and around them, and soon she feels it building—in him, in herself. It’s pushing, pushing for release, the way he earth itself is born in the sea. Soon, she bursts apart and he’s right behind her, pulsing, shaking, calling her name again.

Time passes, how much, neither of them could say. The water’s now comfortably warm, and they’re lying still, almost as if they were in bed. he’s on the bottom, and she’s snug against his chest, her head tucked into the crook of his neck. The candle’s burned low, and they float in silence toward tomorrow, without a compass, without hesitation.

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